Andrew Mitchell has 'no option but to resign', says local police rep

Andrew Mitchell Mr Mitchell's future was the source of speculation during the Tory conference

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Members of the West Midlands Police Federation said Andrew Mitchell had "no option but to resign", following a meeting with the chief whip.

They said Mr Mitchell repeated a "profound apology with feeling" but continued to deny using the words attributed to him during an outburst at police officers outside Number 10.

This meant his position had become "untenable", they said.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called on Andrew Mitchell to be sacked.

Three representatives of the local Police Federation met Mr Mitchell for 45 minutes to discuss allegations the minister called Downing Street police officers "plebs".

Speaking to the media afterwards, Ken Mackaill, chairman of the West Mercia Police Federation, said Mr Mitchell refused to reveal what he actually said in the incident, apparently telling them he did not want a "fire fight with the police".

Prime Minister David Cameron and senior officers have said a line should be drawn under the matter following Mr Mitchell's previous apology, but pressure on Mr Mitchell continues.

Ken Mackaill speaking after his meeting with Andrew Mitchell: "He has no option but to resign"

'No confidence'

A leader column in the Daily Telegraph on Friday called on the chief whip to step down from the cabinet saying he is now a "laughing stock" and a "walking, talking embodiment of everything with which David Cameron would least like his party to be associated".

According to an opinion poll by YouGov, 50% of the public think the "plebs" row shows Conservative MPs see themselves as better than ordinary people.

The online survey of 1,710 people suggests 60% of the public believe Mr Mitchell's outburst "showed his true feelings", while 50% thought his behaviour and attitudes reflected those of other Conservative MPs. Just over half of respondents, 52%, thought he should resign.

Mr Mitchell's future was the source of speculation during this week's Tory conference, despite the Sutton Coldfield MP choosing not to attend, with ministers repeatedly asked about the incident.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told BBC Radio 5 live what Mr Mitchell had done was "really wrong" but he had apologised and he hoped the minister's meeting with the Police Federation would "clear the air".

Labour, which had previously called for the cabinet minister to provide further clarity on what he said to police officers, said the situation had gone on long enough.

'Pleb and proud'

"Neither the prime minister nor the chief whip have proved capable of coming clean swiftly and putting this right," said Ms Cooper.

"And it is now clear no one even in the Conservative Party has confidence in Andrew Mitchell either.

"The failure by David Cameron and Andrew Mitchell to take this incident seriously enough and to sort it out straight away means Andrew Mitchell will clearly not be able to instil respect in Parliament or beyond as chief whip, and this will just drag on and on.

"David Cameron needs to put an end to this now and remove Andrew Mitchell from his position as chief whip."

Last month, police officers protested outside Mr Mitchell's constituency office wearing T-shirt with the words "PC Pleb and Proud" printed on them and representatives have called for a full inquiry into the matter.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 344.

    "Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called on Andrew Mitchell to be sacked."

    Ms Cooper, did you call for Gordon Brown to resign when he called a pensioner a bigot?

  • rate this

    Comment number 343.

    I suspect the police union has been manipulating this event from day one , their objectives known only to them . One of their London reps even tried to twist it into an insult to the poor WPCs shot in Manchester. How depressingly low .

    It sounds like the police on the spot were not that perturbed , otherwise they would have charged Mitchell on the spot .

  • rate this

    Comment number 342.

    This incident is dreadful on so many levels. Not only has Mitchell showcased exactly how some politicians still think of us, he has been disrespectful to a police officer who was doing his duty. It is hardly leading by example, is it? He has brought into question the police officers record written in his pocket book. Effectively, he is calling him a liar. How is it possible he still has his job!

  • rate this

    Comment number 341.

    I dont think Pleb is the worst word in the world I guess no one on here had ever said worse. Get a life there are much bigger issues to deal with. Show how sad people really are these days

  • rate this

    Comment number 340.

    Had I abused Mr Mitchell's boss with the same sort of language in front of a number of armed police officers I have no doubt that I would have been arrested and faced criminal charges. Losing his job should be the least of Mr Mitchell's worries.

  • rate this

    Comment number 339.

    328. Shazzad

    Name Number 6, You're far to anti police with at least English qualification so clearly in DC's camp or 'known to police'

    I'm not anti police I'm anti Police cover-up, Police corruption, Police brutality, Police incompetence, Police and the Masons, Police and Murdoch, Police arrogance, high cost to the tax payer for their oversize pay and pensions.(mine's not subsidized).

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    We can tolerate 'rich', 'privileged' and 'clever' but we can't tolerate 'snob'. That's actively offensive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    Oh yeh, we can really believe that the police version of events is the truth, just like their version of what happened at Hillsborough was!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    Andrew Mitchell is not man enough to clarify verbatim what he said, only bleat incoherently about what he didn't say? How can anyone apologise about something they adamantly didn't say?

    It appears the Plebs win as they are willing to state what was said..rather than what wasn't said??

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    I cannot believe how many of the posters on here think that swearing at the police is not important. If I did it I'd be in trouble, if a Tory MP does it "oh he probably had a bad at the office"
    Not good enough, not by a long way.
    Shame on all those who are now 'bored' of the story

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    What is going on here? Cranky bloke on a bike? Is this proper goverment?

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    Can all the people including Andrew Mitchell who think the police are plebs or worse please make a pledge not to phone us again in an emergency, it will save us a lot of time and money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    325. Marianka

    It is saddening to hear comments like 'he's right, the police are plebs'. I know I get paid for it, but I try to help people as much as possible in my job. I I'm proud to do it, but feel quite depressed by comments like that.
    Welcome to the world of public sector employment, you might want to remember that the next time you're 'kettling' lawful protesters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    Reading all this is getting better than counting sheep. Have you nothing else to do at the BBC??

    Surely the police have been called a lot worse than "plebs". All politically motivated crocodile tears .....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzyawnzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    One or the other appear to be telling lies. This is far more serious than the swearing and name calling.
    If the roles had been reversed, I am sure the police officer would have been disciplined and moved before the day was over.

  • Comment number 329.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    Name Number 6, You're far to anti police with at least English qualification so clearly in DC's camp or 'known to police'...

    You are very good at cherry picking comments so could be Mr Mitchells apprentice

    How much do you pay for your pension?

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    The part I don't get is... how can he apologise and deny what he said at the same time? Surely that's part of the problem. He hasn't even fully owned up to what he said and has just given an empty apology instead while calling the police liars at the same time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    I'm about as ideologically opposed to the tories as anyone you're likely to meet.

    However, I don't think this man's political career should be over for his blurtings, and his giving a refreshing insight, into the view a large part of his party probably have of the ordinary person. That would misrepresent the tories.

    Yes of course he's a laughing stock: wouldn't be the first though, would he?

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    It is saddening to hear comments like 'he's right, the police are plebs'. I know I get paid for it, but I try to help people as much as possible in my job. I go the extra mile to find the teenager that hasn't come home after school or give support to a victim of domestic violence. I'm proud to do it, but feel quite depressed by comments like that.


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